• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Hot Springs, Bath Co: Va:

27 Aug 1870

My dear Markie

I have not recd your “long letter” addressed to Lexington but that of the 22nd Inst: reached me this morg. I send by the mail which conveys this a circular of the Hot as you request, addressed to the care of Dr I. G. Porter. If the price of board &c is not given, I will state that it is the same as when you were here. No reduction has been made as at the other springs in Va: People do not come here for pleasure but for relief & have to pay for what they receive. It is “late” for you to come here Markie for I am just going away. You ought to have come three weeks ago. I do not know that it is “too late” for other people, but I should think it would have been better to have been here earlier. We cannot expect the warm weather to continue much longer, & we may expect more rain in September than Aug. The weather generally is very pleasant in September & October & many persons take the Bathes in those months. I should think however that the waters would be more efficacious in dry hot weather. A great many are leaving now daily, though some are arriving, especially those who have been to the White. Mr Archie George (brother of Ella Carters husband) & family arrived from the White yesterday, others come in every day, though the company seems to be fast diminishing. I go this morg to the Healing & on Monday 29th to Staunton, where I shall be detained two or three days, & thence to Lexington to meet Mr & Mrs Potestad & Fitzhugh & wife who are to be there the 6th from the White. Miss Belle Harrison is now there & Mrs Caskie who is at the Rockbridge Baths, will likewise visit your Cousin Mary, when she will have completed her time there. So I hope I shall be indemnified for my solitude here.

I have been benefited I think upon the whole by my visit, feel better, have less pain & if I could, would remain a week longer. I came too late, owing to my repugnance to hot water, but there is some virtue in this, & besides the little benefit I have recd I have witnessed much imparted to others. I wish that you had been with me Markie. I should have done better. I am so glad that you have been well all the summer. Avoid the young Drs Markie. They do not understand your case. Adhere to the firm & tried ones. The good Drs Flint & Porter for example. You are safe with them. Letters from Edwd & Blanche report them safe in the vicinity of Paris. They were at Ems when the war burst out & had to flee. King William was there at the time. I hope they will continue well. No I am not “glad that the Prussians are succeeding.” They are prompted by ambition & a thirst for power. The French are defending their homes & country. May God help the suffering & avert misery from the poor – Good bye

most truly

R E Lee       



Source: Scan of original letter, Letters of Robert E. Lee to Martha Custis Williams, 1844-1870, Huntington Library, San Marino, California              

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 October 3

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